The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

Flats and studios replace magistrates court

Published in the Camberwell Quarterly

Elizabeth Borowiecka looks at the plans to develop the magistrates court

Proposals to develop the former Camberwell Magistrates Court by Zenith Land are out for consultation now, with a planning application expected by the end of the year.

The development proposed includes both commercial and residential uses: The basement and lower ground floors will have spaces for:

+ Gymnasium and group exercise rooms

+ Artist’s and music studios

+ Co-working spaces

+ Car parking for disabled users and car club

+ Bicycle parking

The ground floor is to be shared between co-working spaces, a public cafe and residential use. The upper floors will be solely residential.

It is proposed that the footprint of the building will remain the same, the extensions being upward only. The height of the central tower will increase from 31m to 47.2m above ground level, which represents between four and five additional stories, and the height of the peripheral blocks will increase by between two and three storeys

153 flats and maisonettes are proposed in total at a mixture of affordable and market prices. They will be built around a central light well, with rooftop terrace gardens for the use of the residents. Two and three-bedroom flats will be included to provide family accommodation, as well as studios and one bedroom flats.

The developer intends to use the existing building’s concrete frame as the main structural component, re-clad to suit the change of use. This will mean that 5,520 tonnes of embodied carbon dioxide will not be released into the atmosphere.

There are extensive plans for landscaping the areas around the building and on the roof terraces to create opportunities for play for children of all ages and for social gatherings.

The developer is inviting local interest in the proposals. Contact details: Telephone: 0203 174 2018


A footnote: The 100m x 5m mural by the Polish artist Tadeusz Zielinski (1907 – 1993) has been removed from the court building for conservation. Part of it is available to view in London at the POKS Polish Cultural Centre.

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The Camberwell Society was formed in 1970 and is the recognised amenity society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell.

The Society’s objectives, as defined by our constitution, are: to stimulate public interest in Camberwell, to promote high standards of planning and architecture in Camberwell, and to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in Camberwell.

We are a charity and raise money for local charities. In the past we have raised money for Southside Rehabilitation Association, St Giles Trust, Cambridge House, the CamberwellCommunity Choir, the HollingtonYouth Centre and the Camberwell Arts Festival